Health & Well-being After 50
This is me. I recently turned 50 and I’m making the most of it! I was in denial for a long time about age, menopause and how my body was changing. Everyone else around me, my family and friends, could tell I was changing, but I wouldn’t accept it.
I recently took barre classes and everyone in the room was at least 20 years younger than me, and it felt intimidating! The older I get, the more I feel this way in a large gym. Everyone seems younger, fitter, healthier and skinnier than me, which makes me not want to work out next to them. This feeling got me thinking that there must be other women out there, like me, my age, shying away from exercising because they feel like they don’t fit in. So I decided to change that!
I have quite a long and varied career with the health and fitness industry. I’ve worked for large corporations like Nivea, Avon, Reebok and others where I developed workout programs, worked as a fitness ambassador and lifestyle coach for young women.
I have had the honour of training celebrities such as Andrea McLean from Loose Women, Debbie Greenwood, TV presenter and former Miss GB and even worked with the stars on Strictly Come Dancing. They all had different goals and abilities which gave me the opportunity to create bespoke programmes for each of them.
I ran a gym in London for three years I learned a lot about how people feel when they come into a gym. I would watch as people would pay for the membership but only turn up a few times in the year and it always had me wondering what their reasons were — no time, no motivation, fear, lack of confidence?
When I was younger I had more time to myself, to think about myself. Now I have so many things to think about – my kids are 18 and 15, so each age has different challenges and priorities which clutter in with my time. We always put ourselves last, so my workout goes to the end.
After turning 50 and accepting the night sweats and the tendency to feel down, I’ve noticed that exercise is the one thing that has made me a happier, better person. I’m learning to be kinder to myself. We are our own worst critics, and often it just takes letting yourself be OK with doing what you can, when you can.
I’ve done everything from intense athlete work outs, training dancers, made fitness videos and quick fix remedies. These quick fix can work short term, but I’ve witnessed the long term mental effects that when you can’t keep it up, you feel bad. Every time you go through that cycle, it gets worse. So stop the guilt. Do what you can when you can, and it will lead to overall healthier life style. My philosophy is all about manageable, holistic lifestyle that fits in with the kids, the dog, the family, and your work.